Dear Editor,

I had an experience in your County I feel the people of Lincoln County deserve to know about.

This past Sunday, December 9, 2018, Annie and I and our dog Buster were traveling south on Highway 93. We live in Ely and were going to Cedar City for medical reasons. It was a beautiful day and we were happy and enjoying the day very much. It just happened to be my birthday.

We stopped at Cathedral Gorge to have a bite to eat and relax a bit. I let Buster out of the truck to have a break. Like a fool, I did not have him on a leash. Well, Buster was enjoying the day like we were and he walked under the guardrail to check things out.

I’m sure you know what I mean when I say the geology of that area is very rugged. Rugged and beautiful. That is why they call it the miniature Grand Canyon. Well, Buster got on a side hill that was too steep for a little dog to handle and began to slide down. He slid down about 30 feet and then off into a very deep sinkhole. He fell down into this big hole and landed on a ledge about 20 feet down. He hit with a big thud. I heard nothing for about 5 minutes. I could only assume he was dead. I tried to get down to this hole but it was too steep for me. But then he began to bark and holler. A young man came by and said he was familiar with these canyons and he would try to get him out. No luck, so I called 911. A very nice lady answered and she said she would notify the sheriff’s office.

In a very short time, there came two big fire engine tankers, about eight fire fighters, the Lincoln County Sheriff, Kerry Lee, who happens to be an old friend of mine, about six deputies, an officer with NDOW, and I am not sure how many more. These people were absolutely amazing! How they worked together and handled the situation.

There was a young firefighter named Josh Ivins who just happens to be from Lund, NV, who has experience repelling into deep holes on a rope. He slid his way down the hillside until he reached the sink hole. He then faced up the hill and leaped backwards into that hole and repelled down to where Buster lay motionless. We all thought his back was broken and he was probably paralyzed. Josh made a sling for Buster out of a small rope and another fireman hoisted Buster up and out of this big, black, hole.

Then all the other fireman up top got on the big rope and hoisted Josh out of the hole.

It was absolutely amazing the way these men worked together in this coordinated effort. I am so grateful to all who helped with this horrible situation. Buster may only be a dog but he his like one of my children to me.

We rushed Buster to Cedar City where a great vet came out and treated Buster. Remember, this was Sunday afternoon. Anyway Dr. Norton treated him, gave him some shots and said bring him back in the morning and he would take another look at him. By this time Buster had awakened and was conscious but could not walk.

Well, miracles do happen, and a long about midnight Buster got up and peed. I was never so happy to see a dog pee in my life. Even if it was on the motel floor. To make a long story short, it appears that Buster is going to be fine.

I would like to give a big shout out to all the police, firemen, NDOW officer, and all the other people who helped save Buster. I believe we sometimes forget how dedicated these people are when they risk their lives to protect us.

I must say that Lincoln County is fortunate to have a man like Kerry Lee as sheriff.


Kenneth D. Heinbaugh

Ely, Nevada